Maverick Holiday Carnival Tradition Continues on MNSU Campus

Return to the inSIDER

by: MORGAN STOLPA, CSU PR Intern

Upon returning from break, Minnesota State University, Mankato is preparing for a tradition of

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Photo by: Temi Adeleye, KEYC News 12

their own.

Starting back in 2015, the Community Engagement Office created the Maverick Holiday Carnival. An event that offered an opportunity for college students, holiday fans and organizations to interact with children and families in the Mankato area.

Those interested in hosting a fun event, will create booths with activities/games for elementary students in the Mankato area and their families. Elementary students will attend,play games and win prizes at each booth, which will consist of carnival games for children up to 12 years old.

“The theme this year is Candyland Holiday Carnival, so we plan to incorporate lots of Candyland themed decorations as well as holiday decorations,” said Kennedi Alstead, Community Engagement Office, Graduate Advisor.

The Maverick Holiday Carnival will take place on December 9th in the Centennial Student Union, Ballroom from 1:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m. However, organizations that are having an activity will have access to the ballroom starting at 11 a.m. and should be ready to go by 1:15 p.m. The actual event will take from 1:30-3:30 p.m. for the actual event and no later than 5 p.m. to take down.

The Community Engagement Office is looking for organizations, chapters, offices, and departments to host a booth for their event. Mavs in Action will pay for $50 of supplies for each group that participates. Groups that sign up before November 16th, will have the privilege of Mavs in Action getting the supplies for their game for them. The form will include, supplies needed and a description of their activity. If groups want to be a part but do not have an idea for an activity, we have many ideas available to offer.

The sign-up form will be available on engage for groups to sign up until the end of November. But those who sign up after November 16th will be in charge of getting their own supplies.

“Additionally, there will be a competition where kids can vote on their favorite booth! The winning group will receive a special prize,” said Alstead.

Organizations interested in being a part of this fun tradition can apply here and  contact kennedi.alstead@mnsu.edu for more information.

What do the Holidays look like for Internationals

Return to the inSIDER

by ALEJANDRO REYES VEGA, CSU Public Relations Assistant

Imagine that you are moving to an entirely different country where maybe not even your first language is spoken. Differences will probably keep appearing food, music, stores and the people. This can be challenging at times and connecting with people from other cultures can be a struggle. However, at MSU there is a program to help international students learn and feel more comfortable.

The Friendship Family Program (FFP) is designed for (either incoming or current) international students. FFP is essentially made to assist these students to have a smooth transition from their home country to a new environment. It can be difficult for some of us to adjust into a new way of living. That’s why FFP strives to help international students learn the “American” lifestyle by having another family by their sides. FFP is also the place where passionate culture exchange happens. Students and families get to know more about each other, share cultures, and learn to embrace diversity.

The members of FFP collect applications from students and volunteer families, then match them up randomly. Usually, 1-2 students are matched with one family. At the beginning of a semester, an event is thrown for the participants to meet each other for the first time and share contacts. Throughout the semester, they have get-together events for them to connect with other students and families and have fun nights!

Thanksgiving is a holiday that is not celebrated in every country in the world, therefore, it is for many their first time. FFP helps many international students learn the traditions that make-up Thanksgiving so they can continue to learn more of the “American” culture.

However, not every international student is part of FFP and have to look for other options. In my experience, most of my friends including myself choose to travel to some new part of the United States or perhaps where some distant relatives or close friend lives. In my five years living in the United States, I have been able to visit many states along with their cities. Being international means that going home for the holidays is not always an option. Therefore, home can be that place where you gather with friends, or you choose to spend your vacation at.

Reflecting on the Holocaust

October 10, 2018, inSIDER

by Morgan Stolpa, CSU Public Relations Intern

Spotlighting Minnesota Holocaust survivors is the focus of a series of free events through the Social Justice Lecture Series.

The series is presented by the Minnesota State Mankato’s Department of Sociology and Corrections, the Kessel Peace Institute and the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas.

“These events focus on the Holocaust, both its past and the lessons we can learn from it today to create a more peaceful world,” Carol Glasser, director of the Kessel Peace Institute, said.

Transfer of Memory Photography Exhibit (Oct. 8 – Oct. 23) (CSU Art Gallery)

The gallery is located in the basement of the Centennial Student Union and will be open during CSU operating hours:

Mondays-Fridays 6:30 AM – 12:00 AM

Saturdays 8:00 AM – 12:00 AM 

Sundays 10:00 AM – 12:00 AM 

The exhibit illustrates Holocaust survivors living in Minnesota, in their homes, in full colors. Each story is about survival during unfathomable circumstances. However, the collection focuses on life and hope.

Echoes and Reflections Teacher Training (Oct. 16, 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.) (Morris Hall 103)

Echoes and Reflections is a training for teachers dedicated to reshaping the way that teachers and students understand, process and navigate the world by supporting effective teaching of the Holocaust. This is a program for K-12 educators and educators-in-training. The program provides access to a range of classroom-ready content, sound teaching pedagogy and instructional strategies — all designed to engage students in a comprehensive study of events and to explore how the Holocaust continues to influence social issues in the world today.

An RSVP is required to attend, due to the targeted audience for this training. Please contact Dr. Kyle Ward at kyle.ward@mnsu.eduto RSVP.

Finding Art in my Photography with David Sherman (Oct. 17, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.) (Morris Hall 103)

NBA Team Photographer for the Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Lynx, David Sherman is another creative mind behind the Transfer of Memory exhibit. In this talk Sherman will discuss how Transfer of Memory opened his creativity and allowed him to think of his daily and personal work in terms of art instead of only its commercial application.  He also will discuss how creating Transfer of Memory allowed him to develop an artful voice.

Closing Reception for the Transfer of Memory Exhibit (Oct. 22, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.) (CSU Lounge, next to the Art Gallery)

 The closing reception of the Transfer of Memory Exhibit will allow attendees the opportunity to talk with the speakers, one another, tour the exhibit, and to celebrate this powerful series of events.

If you are a professor and would like to incorporate any of these events into your classes, you can request attendance and sign-up sheets for class participation or individual extra credit. Students will be provided with FREE copies of the book, Witness to the Holocaust: Stories of Minnesota Holocaust Survivors.

If you have any questions about these events contact Carol Glasser at carol.glasser@mnsu.eduor (507)-389-1345.

 

Celebrating 150 Years of MSU: What It Means for You!

Minnesota State is set to celebrate a major milestone in 2018 as it will celebrate its 150th birthday.

“It’s a huge milestone for our institution,” Paul Hustoles, chair of the 150th observance, said. “It gives us an opportunity to really look at our past and an opportunity to think about the next 150 years. It’s not every day you get to celebrate your 150th birthday.”

Founded on Oct. 7, 1868, MSU is Minnesota’s third oldest university behind Winona State University (1858) and the University of Minnesota (1851). MSU has been celebrating over the last year and it will cap off the celebrations with homecoming and a few other events in the coming weeks.

“We have had more than 150 events during the past year, including this past summer,” Hustoles said. “We are just coming into our ‘grand finale week.'”

The full schedule of events for the 150th Celebration Week, courtesy of Paul Hustoles.

Celebration events include the “Stomping Through the Decades” Homecoming Parade, several presentations, dedications to MSU buildings, speakers and more. Saturday, Oct. 6 marks the finale of the celebration and will be the Birthday Bash party in the CSU.

“We are taking over the CSU and it should be a great time,” Hustoles said. “Of course we will have cake and ice cream, but also fun and games, a variety show, a big dance and an amazing laser show projected onto to the CSU.”

Hustoles said the event is free to “every member of our MSU community” and more details regarding the event should be available soon. He also stressed the importance of celebrating the university’s milestone.

“Current students will forever be part of our history. [There’s] no time like the present to celebrate our collective past and our anticipated future,” he said.

For more information about MSU’s 150th Observance, please contact Paul Hustoles at paul.hustoles@mnsu.edu or visit www.mnsu.edu/150/.

The Best Weekend Yet

by: Brett Marshall

Homecoming weekend is usually one of students’ favorite events of the year and that’s largely due to the exciting events that take place.

You’ve probably seen the event names all over the place, but what exactly should you expect? Luckily for you, this is my fifth homecoming, so I’m here to provide you with a little rundown of the week’s remaining events.

Lip Sync & Coronation

By far one of my favorite events of the year. During the last two or three weeks, RSOs have formed teams and have been practicing a full-blown dance routine. The routines usually last five to six minutes and include props, flips, lifts, one person always lip syncing and much more. Thursday at 7 p.m. in Bresnan Arena, the teams perform their routines live in front of a panel of judges and students and are scored on certain criteria including, but not limited to, originality, creativity and incorporating the homecoming theme.

After each of the teams has performed its routine, the Student Events Team reveals the MSU Homecoming Royalty. Two people are crowned and win based on interviews and votes from MSU students. Following that, the judges announce the winners of the Lip Sync competition. The atmosphere of this event is electric and the performers always put on dazzling routines. If you only make it to one event this weekend, make sure it’s lip sync!

Homecoming Concert

Fetty Wap comes to Kato as one of the biggest names the campus has seen in recent memory. He’s sure to put on amazing show, which will begin with a performance from Silento. The concert is always packed, loud and exciting. Grab some friends and catch a one-of-a-kind concert in Myers Field House Friday at 7 p.m.

Homecoming Parade

This should be one of the best parades MSU has ever had. Saturday’s Stomping Through the Decades Parade will be downtown for the first time in years. The parade, which begins at 10 a.m., is packed full of Maverick pride including royalty, handmade RSO floats, local law enforcement and fire vehicles, Maverick Machine pep band, city officials, academic clubs and many other entries. RSO’s compete by trying to create the best float and are again scored by a panel of judges. They go all out for these and often have jaw dropping setups as they stroll down the street. To find out more details and to find transportation information for the parade, check out last week’s article.

Football Game

The rival Huskies of St. Cloud State University come town for the Homecoming Finale. The Mavericks enter the weekend ranked as the #1 team in Division II setting the stage for a terrific matchup. Grab your friends, pack Blakeslee Stadium Saturday at 2 p.m. and cheer the Mavs to victory.

The Importance Of A Student Union

What Does ‘House of Serendipity’ Mean?

by LENNY KOUPAL, CSU Communications Coordinator

How important is a student union to a students’ overall college experience?

At the Centennial Student Union at Minnesota State University, Mankato, validating our campus presence through a random student survey is something we do every couple of years. It provides valuable information and a reality check against what we say we do and what students generally and actually think of us.

And the survey says…our 2018 overall results graphically indicate that we are steadily advancing our overall effectiveness. Students further shared that, in 2018, we are ahead of the curve when compared to six national student unions of comparable size and services, reputable “Carnegie Class” institutions as well as all institutions completing surveys in 2018.

Student opinions show overall progressive growth in effectiveness of Centennial Student Union services and programs.

A comprehensive view of the Centennial Student Union shows satisfaction higher than comparative universities across the country.

We can pat ourselves on the back, but we know there’s no resting on our laurels when it comes to our own expectations and, more importantly, our students’ expectations. As student union administrators, we know that college is more than classrooms and textbooks. So much of learning is accomplished outside the classroom – personally, socially and globally. We know that a strong student union presence plays a pivotal role in student success and growth. We know that a student union is more than brick and mortar. To help students, we know that a student union must be a living, evolving culture. It’s pulse must be the pulse of the campus.

Back in 2010, the CSU set out to define that culture by branding itself the “House of Serendipity.” The moniker seeking a place for unexpected discoveries – pleasant surprises – was taken from the words of the late C. Shaw Smith. Along with being a student union director and the former president of the Association of College Unions International, Smith was an accomplished magician.

That may have accounted for his philosophy that a quality student union should be a surprising, life-changing experience. “I like to call the Union the House of Serendipity,” Smith said. “You go for one thing and you get more than you bargained for. It’s inescapable. It gets into your head and into your heart, and you’re never quite the same again. The right Union will change you.” His words have become the mantra behind the mission and vision of the CSU.

Providing our students with a Serendipity experience started with our tagline “offering pleasant surprises ’round every corner.” That literal application morphed a few years later into a philosophical message that helped express the vision of the CSU. Now “offering pleasant surprises that INVITE, INVOLVE and INSPIRE,” the CSU views those three words as a Maslow-style progression of personal growth.

We seek to create an inviting environment where students can find the creature comforts – food, essential services, corners for studying or sleep and, most importantly, social interaction.

Once achieved, that level of comfortability encourages student to get involved. Coming into the CSU could lead to joining a fraternity or sorority, getting involved in student government, writing for the student newspaper or helping to plan homecoming, concerts or campus activities benefitting all students.

Such personal engagement inspires students to spread their wings as they explore and achieve personal confidence and leadership skills that will shape their careers and adult lives.

Along this journey of personal growth, students are supported by the CSU’s core values that seek to engage students along six prime objectives – Leadership, Integrity, Community, Personal Development, Innovation and Celebration.

So how does this all get back to the original question: How important is a student union to a students’ overall college experience?

Retention is such a key focus for Minnesota State Mankato as it is for universities across the country. At the heart of that discussion is the ability for a university to meet a student’s needs and expectations. As the student-centered heart of campus, the CSU sees the student union’s important role in adding broad-based value to the college experience. Sometimes to the surprise of our students.

Recently, the Washington Post offered a perspective from Jim Troha, a private college president who was also the parent of a prospective college student. The article – entitled VALUE MATTERS IN CHOOSING A COLLEGE. BUT NOT JUST THE PRICE KIND – shared Troha’s view of higher education from a different angle. Too often, college administrators size up value along yardsticks that measure scholarships, job-placement rates, graduate school enrollments and students’ marketable skills.

“What I don’t see, however, are people talking about value — and not the way grocery stores do — but value in terms of ideas, aspirations, the kind of person you want to become, the kind of experiences and environments that will bring out the best in you,” Troha said. “The kind of place where you will be surprised by uncovering your potential.”

By looking past price to value based on the culture of a university campus – in our case, a university student union – Troha said parents and students are better equipped to ask deeper questions.

“They realize potential, networks and the long game (so to speak) are of equal if not greater importance than the immediate details of cost comparisons,” he stated.

At Minnesota State Mankato, the goal is for each of us to visualize “Big ideas. Real-world thinking” in every one our students. The Centennial Student Union works to accept that calling by striving to offer a culture of value that pleasantly surprises students into realizing their full potential. Their big idea may be Serendipity of Self where global thinking is shaped through personal experiences that apply leadership, integrity, community, personal development, innovation and celebration. For the CSU, helping students equip themselves with those shared tools will maintain the student union’s important role in a valued and enduring college education.

LGBT Center Anniversary

HELPING STUDENT FIND THEIR VOICE FOR 40 YEARS

by TAYLOR ZENZ, CSU Public Relations Intern

This year is all about traditions and anniversaries. Alongside the University’s 150th and the Centennial Student Unions 50th celebrations, the LGBT Center hosted their 40thanniversary this past week.

Back when it was still Mankato State, the University became the second school in the nation to have a campus-based LGBT Center. In 1977, the “Alternative Lifestyle Center” was found with only a few student volunteers and a graduate assistant as part of their staff.

Now, the landmark LGBT Center has an independent office, a full-time coordinator, Jessica Flatequal, and hundreds of students who visit the Center each week.

One student, Graham Waitt, is especially thankful for the LGBT Center this year. As a nontraditional student who felt lost in school, he joined the LGBT Center and never looked back.

“I would not be who I am today without the people that I met simply by hanging out in the Center,” Graham mentions, “I think the biggest impact was that it helped me find my own voice that I didn’t realize I had. It helped me become a strong advocate and ally for the community that I now call home.”

Like many other students, Graham didn’t find the comfort of the LGBT Center right away. As a freshman on campus, he didn’t feel comfortable enough to go into the Center or to volunteer. When returning to Minnesota State Mankato after taking time off, he knew that he didn’t want to let a second chance pass him by. After meeting a close friend in Residential Life who ultimately invited Waitt to join her in the Center, he found himself visiting frequently and making friends.

“It was one of the best decisions that I ever made in college,” Graham said.

Joining the LGBT Center provides endless opportunities for students. For Graham, it’s given him the opportunity to get out in the community and give back. He’s been able to attend several LGBT conferences around the Midwest and was given chances to be a speaker at peer panels to educate the community on LGBT-specific issues. He also has had the privilege to help with campus Drag Shows and Mankato Pride.

Graham is not only an advocate for the LGBT Center and community, but an advocate for finding your true self.

“That’s what we all want in the end, right?” he stated.

To learn more about the LGBT Center on campus, visit https://www.mnsu.edu/lgbtc.

 

 

Greek Week April 9-13 Goes Beyond Fun Events

By BRETT MARSHALL, CSU Public Relations Intern

 

Next week’s Greek Week is more than just fun competition among chapters. Rather, the tradition stretching back to 1966 holds a special place in the hearts of the Fraternity and Sorority Life at Minnesota State Mankato.

For many, the week is starting to take on a new meaning.

“Greek Week is so important to our community because it’s the one week a year that we get to come together to celebrate each other and the hard work that we do throughout the year,” said Emma Thole, Panhellenic Council president.

While the week focuses on traditions and unity, it also spotlights the community’s values of friendship, leadership and service. Events during the week include a clothing drive where all donations collected go to the Salvation Army. In past years, over 1,000 items were collected. Other events include a cardboard boat regatta, a cookout, a lip sync competition and a Greek God/Goddess competition.

These are all events that have long been a part of Greek Week — traditions that will continue to live on in the spirit of togetherness.

“Traditions bring people together. They create a sense of unity and accomplishment between the organizations involved,” said Christian Brollier, vice president of Public Relations and Marketing for the Interfraternity Council.

Brollier says much of the community’s accomplishment comes from leadership.

“Fraternity and sorority life has many opportunities for you to get involved and become an effective leader—not just within our community, but also on campus,” he added.

That campus leadership is prominent as fraternities and sororities are one of the most involved groups on campus. Each year, they raise thousands of dollars for charity, complete over 5,000 hours of community service and achieve a GPA higher than the undergraduate average. Many of them are involved in other prominent campus organizations like dance marathon, student government and residential life.

Greek Week begins Monday, April 9 and concludes Friday, April 13. All of the week’s events are free and open to the public. For a full schedule of events and updates throughout Greek Week, follow @MaverickGreeks on Twitter and Instagram.

CSU Features Celtic Songs by Lehto & Wright

St. Patty’s Primer: Serendipity Music Series Welcomes Guitar Masters March 14

Just in time for a St. Patty’s Day primer, Minnesota guitar masters Lehto and Wright bring their traditional Celtic and American folk/rock sound to their first appearance with the Centennial Student Union Serendipity Music Series.

The duo’s free two-hour daytime performance will be Wednesday, March 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the CSU’s Lower Level Flex Programming Space.

According to Dirty Linen, the national newsfeed for folk and world music, Steve Lehto and John Wright are “.. among North America’s best practitioners of Anglo-Celtic folk-rock… wonderfully intricate, powerful guitar-driven music…”

Lehto and Wright’s accomplished twin guitar/mandolin approach features “unplugged” song sets ranging from Irish tunes to American spirituals. Their musical style, shaped by such influences as Jethro Tull, Miles Davis and King Crimson, challenges the boundaries of the traditional Folk genre.

The CSU’s ongoing Serendipity Music Series is a mid-day, mid-week, “street corner serenade” series that seeks to expose students, the campus and the Mankato community to a range of genres by Minnesota musicians. Lenny Koupal, coordinator of the series, said it was “serendipity” to come upon Lehto and Wright.

“Lehto and Wright came recommended by Tim Cheesebrow, a Twin Cities singer/songwriter who performed here in January,” Koupal said. “What a pleasant surprise to find Celtic music was in their wheelhouse and they were available for a daytime, pre-St. Patty’s gig. Two hours of free, top-notch tunes should help set the Irish mood and once-again expose our community to the wealth of talent among Minnesota musicians.”

 

 

Alumni Memories Sought; Centennial Student Union Plans 50th Celebration Homecoming Day, Oct. 7


The Centennial Student Union invites students and alumni to join its 50th Anniversary Reunion Celebration on Homecoming Day, Saturday, Oct. 7.

Highlighting CSU reunion festivities during Minnesota State University, Mankato Homecoming Day 2017 activities will be an afternoon reception starting at 3:30 p.m. in the CSU Hearth Lounge. Other days activities will be a morning light breakfast, an invitation to participate in the Homecoming Day parade, and an evening “family friendly” event.

Mark Constantine, director of the Centennial Student Union, said activities celebrating the student union’s 50th anniversary will begin at the start of the Fall 2017 semester and continue through Homecoming 2017.

“We are reaching out to all alumni – and particularly our past CSU student employees – to return to the Centennial Student Union on Homecoming Day to help us celebrate,” Constantine said. “We also are inviting all alumni to share photos and memories shaped in the CSU as a part of a Fall ‘Serendipitous Memories’ art show planned in the CSU Art Gallery.”

“We are reaching out to all alumni – and particularly our past CSU student employees – to return to the Centennial Student Union on Homecoming Day to help us celebrate. We also are inviting all alumni to share photos and memories shaped in the CSU as a part of a Fall ‘Serendipitous Memories’ art show planned in the CSU Art Gallery.” – Mark Constantine

Photos and memories can be shared on the CSU 50th Anniversary website, www.csu.mnsu/50thAnniversary. Shared memories will be displayed in a CSU Art Gallery exhibit from August through the Homecoming celebration.

“Maybe the CSU is where you met your life partner, found a lifelong Greek community or discovered a personal passion,” Constantine said. “We want to share your CSU memories.”

The CSU also is creating a 50th anniversary display that will be used in the CSU throughout the 2017-18 academic year as well as with the University’s planned Sesquicentennial traveling display. The CSU display will include a video timeline featuring CSU directors, key staff members and special guests.